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The PLA Blog | Official Blog of the Public Library Association

Otlet and the changing role of your library

A lot of things were great about the New Media Symposium at Pratt SILS the other day, but I sure did have a lot of fun listening to Alex Wright talk about the work of information science visionary Paul Otlet (among others).  I just spent some time tweaking one of Otlet’s images in a way that I think explains the type of transactions that happen in a contemporary public library.  In many ways, I think it is an illustration of David Lankes’s “library as conversation” argument.

Here is Otlet’s image before I messed with it (thanks to some blog in the Netherlands).

First, check out this short video about Otlet predicting the invention of the computer.

Here’s my reinterpretation:

Oltlet1934

Otlet2009

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